Jun 3, 2023Liked by Maxwell Tabarrok

I was going to do this on my own blog, having recently looked through issues of Extropy. Oh well, now I'll have to write a commentary post.

"Almost everybody underestimated progress brain computer interfaces.' I disagree. We didn't mean simple deep brain stimulation or "non-invasive EEG interfaces". My forecast of 2020-2050 is still in the running.

For "Information storage $0.01 per Megabyte": If 2010 is marked correct, but my 2015 is marked wrong, it seems that unless you get the exact year you're counted as wrong. If, as in most cases, I'd given a range centered on that date, I would have been counted as correct. This suggests something about grading forecasts and suggests to forecasters never to give a point date. The same applies to "Most publications are electronic." It seems that I get graded as wrong but Nick as right although his five-year range starts only one year after mine. Looking at 1999 on the chart you provide, it's looks like 1999 is not wrong because the proposition was NOT "most intellectual publications are ONLY on the web."

What year do you have for "1 million+ people using anonymous electronic cash"? If Benford's 2010 is correct but my 1999-2006 is not, it must be 2007-2010. In that case, I was close and a slightly wider range would have got it.

Why is Ocean Colonization 2010-2050 marked incorrect when there is still 27 years left?

We should have been right on cryonics-related predictions, but non-technical factors have been extremely disappointing.

Not long after these forecasts, I concluded that it's pointless to make date forecasts. You can maybe foresee general trends, but even those are hard -- unless they are VERY general.

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There were and still are women there in this extropic network of visionaries.

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Nice work, Max! This was both fun and sobering to read. It would be fun to do another set of predictions with both the original forecasters and new forecasters. Perhaps we'll prove to be getting better at it!

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Oct 18, 2023·edited Oct 18, 2023Liked by Maxwell Tabarrok

I remember 1995. I'd just seen my first web page and thought it was some sort of crap toy that would be useful in the same way as teletext. I'd never seen a mobile phone, and I could only see the internet over a dial-up modem that was too slow for images. I was a mathematician, computer freak, and regular academic user of things like usenet, so really on the cutting edge of the new world.

I also had an extremely rosy view of the competence of academia and government, particularly things like medical science.

Most of these things, although obviously physically plausible and exciting dreams, would have been straight out of science fiction. And I was young and pretty techno-optimistic myself. I would certainly have been very happy to find the extropians to discuss insane futuristic ideas with.

You're telling me that thirty years ago, a bunch of people made a load of completely mad-sounding predictions about the future development of a stack of things which were 'obviously physically plausible but come on, that's a while off yet', and got half of them right?

Well done the Extropians!

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I'm pleased Extropians did well on germ line engineering. Someone (?) from UCLA (?) gave a talk at Extro 2 specifically about the benefits and feasibility. He ended his talk by announcing that he was offering a prize for the first person who did it. I was the very last audience question, and I asked him when he expected to award that prize. His answer was 2020.

His guess got beat by a couple of years, but I kinda doubt the winner got the cash. Anyone know who the speaker was and what happened to the X Prize?

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